TV TUESDAY S02E00: Fall 1983 vs Fall 2013

1983 TV GUIDE Fall Preview Issue

As he did last year for the years 1982 and 2012, HERC returns with a comparison of the Fall 1983 and Fall 2013 television seasons. If he remembers correctly, 1983 was the year HERC SR. brought home the family's first VCR and the family homestead got cable TV, bringing more viewing options and time-shifting possibilities than ever before.  So what did HERC do?  He got a job, his driver's license and then a girlfriend and watched very little television.  On with the show.

First, here are the three major network promos from 1983.  

ABC was hoping to give you "That Special Feeling"

CBS bragged "We've Got The Touch"

And NBC pledged to "Be There"

Here are the shows HERC preferred to watch in the Fall of 1983 - all of them were returning shows; not a single show from the Fall Freshman made HERC's list:

7:00-8:00 That's Incredible [ABC]
8:00-8:30 AfterMASH [CBS]
8:30-9:00 Newhart [CBS]
  • Not much change on Mondays from last year - Square Pegs was cancelled so HERC could watch the entire hour of That's Incredible now and M*A*S*H became AfterMASH. Newhart remained the same.

7:30-8:00 Happy Days [ABC]
8:00-8:30 Three's Company [ABC]
9:00-10:00 Hart To Hart [ABC]
  • Laverne & Shirley was cancelled but no other changes. The A-Team premiered but HERC never watched the show at all.

7:00-8:00 The Fall Guy [ABC]
8:00-8:30 Facts Of Life [NBC]
8:30-9:00 Family Ties [NBC]
  • By moving The Fall Guy up an hour, ABC locked up HERC's viewing for the hour and NBC's Real People lost a viewer.

7:00-8:00 Magnum PI [CBS]
8:00-9:00 Simon & Simon [CBS]
  • Didn't watch either of these shows in 1982 but they were must see in '83.


7:00-8:00 Dukes Of Hazzard [CBS]

  • Usually missed the show because he was working.  Never thought to tape it.

7:00-7:30 Diff'rent Strokes [NBC]
8:00-9:00 Love Boat [ABC]
9:00-10:00 Fantasy Island [ABC]

  • No changes from last season on Saturdays.

6:00-7:00 Ripley's Believe It Or Not [ABC]
7:00-7:30 Alice [CBS]
7:30-8:00 One Day At A Time [CBS]
8:00-8:30 The Jeffersons [CBS]
9:00-10:00 Trapper John, M.D. [CBS]

  • CHiPs was cancelled and CBS shuffled their Sunday night sitcoms a bit.

Overall, that's 15 hours a week vs 1982's 17 hours.  Saturday mornings still had American Bandstand and Soul Train while Saturday nights had what turned out to be Eddie Murphy's final half-season on Saturday Night Live.  Sundays had Solid Gold and at least once during the weekend, America's Top 10 with Casey Kasem would air.

And here's what HERC is planning to watch for Fall 2013 - at least until he loses interest or the shows get cancelled; whichever comes first.  HERC had eight shows he watched get cancelled last season counting 30 Rock and The Office.


7:00-7:30 How I Met Your Mother FINAL SEASON [CBS]
7:00-8:00 Bones [FOX]
8:30-9:00 Mom [CBS]
9:00-10:00 Castle [ABC]
  • HERC is giving freshman comedy Mom a shot based on the stars: Allison Janney, Anna Farris, Nate Corddry and French Stewart.  Hoping it's not as lowbrow as Two Broke Girls but judging from promos for the show it appears to be cut from same cloth or at least the same creators and writers.  Bones and Castle are two of the few shows that HERC and MRS. HERC watch together: Bones live and Castle from DVR the next day.


7:30-8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine [FOX]
7:00-8:00 Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. [ABC]
8:00-9:00 Supernatural [CW]
8:00-8:30 The Goldbergs [ABC]
8:00-8:30 New Girl [FOX]
8:30-9:00 The Mindy Project [FOX]
9:00-10:00 Person Of Interest [CBS]
  • Three new shows, two old shows on a new day and two returning shows.  HERC hopes The Goldbergs can make it through the season if it can strike that right balance of nostalgia, comedy and heart.


7:00-7:30 The Middle [ABC]
8:00-8:30 Modern Family [ABC]
8:30-9:00 Super Fun Night [ABC]
9:00-10:00 CSI [CBS]
  • HERC thinks Super Fun Night is on borrowed time but he's giving it a shot.


7:00-7:30 Big Bang Theory [CBS]
7:00-7:30 Parks & Rec [NBC]
7:30-8:00 Welcome To The Family [NBC]
8:00-8:30 Sean Saves The World [NBC]
8:00-8:30 The Crazy Ones [CBS]
8:30-9:00 The Michael J. Fox Show [NBC]
9:00-10:00 Elementary [CBS]
  • Four new shows and three returning favorites though HERC predicts Welcome To The Family and at least one of the other new Thursday shows will be cancelled.

7:00-8:00 The Carrie Diaries [CW]
7:30-8:00 The Neighbors [ABC]
  • Fridays are traditionally where shows go to die - HERC's hoping that these two transplants either thrive and survive or are relocated to a better day and time.


10:30-12:00 Saturday Night Live [NBC]
  • This show is always DVR'd as HERC is usually fast asleep by the time it airs.  He's curious to see all the new cast members and has been avoiding casting news and rumours all Summer.  He's also trying real hard to get an episode from the Japanese or Korean versions of the show.


7:00-7:30 The Simpsons [FOX]
7:30-8:00 See Dad Run [NIC]
9:00-10:00 The Mentalist [ABC]

  • If the identity of Red John is not revealed this season, HERC will stop watching The Mentalist - it started off well but lately it has been dragging with poorly written and uninteresting cases.
Woohoo! That's only 19.5 hours - 5.5 less than last year! There are an additional 5-6 hours of unlisted expanded basic and premium cable channel shows HERC watches as well. Shows like Eastbound and Down, Homefront and Major Crimes.

Tell HERC what shows you used to watch and what shows you can't live without in the comments below.


  1. I absolutely loved getting the Fall TV Guide preview issues back in the day. Kept that one for the entire season for reference!

  2. Always good to hear from a fellow Fall Preview issue TV Guide fanatic!